Civil rights groups are complaining that the hit comedy “Martin” and seven other television shows present demeaning stereotypes of blacks, and they are demanding changes.
The shows on the Fox, WB and UPN networks were singled out Friday by leaders of the Brotherhood Crusade, Mothers in Action and the Beverly Hills-Hollywood chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“I know comedy is comedy, but there’s a fine line when people are laughing with you and people are laughing at you,” said Billie J. Green, president of the NAACP chapter.
Green said the three groups are offended by the “groping and rolling and bucking of the eyes” by some characters, and by the use of “incorrect English.”
In addition to Fox’s “Martin,” the groups singled out WB’s “The Wayans Bros.” and “The Jamie Foxx Show,” and UPN’s “Homeboys in Outer Space,” “Goode Behavior,” “Sparks,” “In the House” and “Malcolm and Eddie.”
The criticism by the NAACP chapter’s board of directors conflicts with the position taken by the national NAACP, which has given several of its Image Awards to “Martin” and its star, Martin Lawrence.
The three groups said they don’t want the shows canceled, just changed to include more positive images of blacks.